This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:

fact-checked

peer-reviewed publication

proofread

Research suggests tai chi outperforms conventional exercise in improving mobility and balance for seniors

tai chi
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

While tai chi is understood to be beneficial for functional mobility and balance in older adults, such benefits are not well understood due to a large variance in research study protocols and observations.

Now, a new research review and analysis shows that tai chi can indeed induce greater improvement in functional mobility and balance in relatively healthy older adults compared to conventional exercise.

Researchers examined 12 studies involving 2,901 participants. Generally, tai chi, compared to conventional exercise, produces the following performance results:

  • The time to complete 50-foot walking was 1.84 seconds faster.
  • The time to maintain a one-leg stance was 6 seconds longer when eyes were open and 1.65 seconds longer when eyes were closed.
  • Individuals improved their timed-up-and-go by 0.18 points, indicating quicker standing, walking, and sitting.
  • Individuals taking the functional reach test showed significant improvement with a standardized mean difference of 0.7, suggesting a noteworthy positive impact on the ability to reach and perform .

Secondary analyses revealed that the use of tai chi with relatively short duration (<20 weeks), low total time (≤24 total hours), and/or focusing on the Yang style of this ancient form of Chinese martial arts was particularly beneficial for functional mobility and balance as compared to conventional exercise.

Research suggests tai chi outperforms conventional exercise in improving mobility and balance for seniors
Flow chart for selection of studies. Credit: Frontiers in Public Health (2023). DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1281144

"This systematic literature review and meta-analysis are exciting because they provide strong evidence that tai chi is a more efficient strategy to improve functional mobility and balance in relatively healthy older adults, as compared to conventional exercise," said Brad Manor, Ph.D., director of the Mobility and Falls Program at Hebrew SeniorLife's Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research.

"This research suggests that tai chi should be carefully considered in future studies and routines of rehabilitative programs for balance and mobility in ," said Bao Dapeng, professor at Beijing Sport University.

The work is published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.

More information: Yiting Li et al, The comparison between effects of Taichi and conventional exercise on functional mobility and balance in healthy older adults: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis, Frontiers in Public Health (2023). DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1281144

Journal information: Frontiers in Public Health
Provided by Hebrew SeniorLife Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research
Citation: Research suggests tai chi outperforms conventional exercise in improving mobility and balance for seniors (2024, February 14) retrieved 14 April 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-02-tai-chi-outperforms-conventional-mobility.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Better benefits from home-based walking than supervised facility exercise in PAD patients

17 shares

Feedback to editors